Local Perth boy, Jeff Hewitt is performing in 2016’s Perth Comedy Festival with his FRINGEWORLD show, Rad Dad Redemption. We caught up with him to see how that was going.
The Australia Times (TAT): Is this your first time performing at Perth Comedy Festival?
Jeff Hewitt (JH): This is my second time. I did a comedic play at the 2013 festival called When God Met Satan. I played Satan, naturally, and Levon J. Polinelli, the director of RAD DAD REDEMPTION, played God. This was typecasting, as Levon moves in mysterious ways, mainly at the Perth Steamworks.
TAT: Does the show differ from your Fringeworld show?
JH: Haha no, not really. There will be a few tweaks here and there, but fundamentally it will be the same, because really, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Even before it was nominated for the Best Comedy Award at Fringe World this year, I knew it was the best show I had ever done. The worst show I have ever done, incidentally, is Men In Chairs, which I co-wrote with Perth comedians Tim Beckett and Xavier Susai. Funnily enough though, Men In Chairs is the only show that anyone remembers from the 2011 Wild West Comedy Festival, so you have to give us credit for making an impression.
TAT: What inspired you to write this show in particular?
JH: I combined the life-changing experience of becoming a father with my love of Joseph Campbell, and ended up mapping The Hero’s Journey onto my own life. It’s the most personal show I’ve ever written, so writing it was very different to writing my 2015 Fringe World show, V For Vagina, which was essentially an essay about women and feminism. V For Vagina was from the head, whereas RAD DAD REDEMPTION is definitely from the heart.
TAT: How has being a dad changed your perspective on life?
JH: Well, now I have to think twice before blasting Lamb of God first thing in the morning. My partner and I also have to keep all the cabinets in the house locked now, because the other week I walked in on my son Harry, who is 13 months old, scooping everything out of the cabinet under the bathroom sink and chucking it into the bathtub, including my beloved FleshLight. Thank goodness he didn’t decide to chuck it into the toilet.
Fatherhood changes everything. If I could give a pithy answer to that question I wouldn’t have had to write an entire show about it. I won’t give a detailed answer so as to avoid spoilers, but suffice to say that watching your firstborn child come into the world is the ultimate game changer. It was an extremely emotional experience for me.
TAT: Apart from your show, what would you recommend at the Perth Comedy Festival?
JH: Ben Sutton has a great show called Neither Here Nor There. He’s a naturally funny guy and this show is from the heart. Darren the Explorer is a politically incorrect children’s show for adults written by very funny Perth comedian Lukey Bolland. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Corey White’s The Cane Toad Effect and am excited that I’m finally getting to see it. David O’Doherty, Dom Irrera, Paul Foot and Steve Hughes are all comedy giants that I’m keen to see. I enjoyed Nicole Henriksen’s show about being a stripper very much, Makin’ It Rain, and she’s also doing an alt-comedy show called Techno Glitter Penguins. I would also recommend Mike Goldstein Does Words Good and Suns of Fred. I haven’t seen Zanzoop’s Feeble Minds but I’ve seen some photos of the show and it looks weird as fuck, which pleases me.
TAT: Favourite place to get a post-show drink?
JH: Probably the Brisbane Hotel, although to be honest, I’m a lover, not a drinker.
TAT: What are your plans after the Perth Comedy Festival?
JH: I’m toying with the idea of bringing RAD DAD REDEMPTION to the Melbourne Fringe Festival later in the year. Apart from that, it’s the usual hustle and flow: writing new material, trying to keep my podcast Once Were Zombies on a semi-regular schedule, actually launching my website (I’ve been sitting on the domain name for almost two years now), starting work on a novel, and mastering my Kegel exercises.
See our review of Rad Dad Redemption from Fringeworld here:
For more details about Hewitt’s show, see the Perth Comedy Festival website: